Making Art Work
Artists change the world, by changing the perceptions and experience of the people in the audience. A really good artist finds creates ways for audiences to experience empathy, beauty, heroism, suffering, injustice- all of the large, universal, significant aspects of what it means to be the human animal in a human world.
This is an important, necessary function of society. It is not extraneous, unproductive, merely entertaining, or an aspect of "leisure". An artist is keeping our culture afloat, and contributing directly to the collective betterment of the planet, one audience at a time.
This process only works if there is an audience, of course. So what I do is find the right audiences for good artists. In that way, I am contributing to the finest thing we can all do- change for the better.
You, the creative worker, are the expert on your own work. You need creative and intellectual control of that work. I am to assist you in creating the financial, physical and mental conditions you need to do your real work. You make your job unique- no-one else can do it, by definition.
On Being PaidI work for artists, not the other way around. My policy is to ensure the artist I work for gets paid properly for their work. I have several ways of doing this in a way that is beneficial for both artist and venue/host organisation.
Supporting the Gig
I will assist the audience involved, the organisers of the gig, and/or organisations that wish to hire an artist for an event, to find that money if necessary. I will provide publicity and promotional advice and assistance. An artist needs both a living, and an audience. And an audience needs artists in ways that go way beyond simple financial considerations. I act, always, on the principles of enlightened self-interest and mutual benefit, interpreted in the broadest possible way. The relationship between the artist, the industry and the audience can be based on co-operation rather than exploitation. Let's ensure that it is.
Supporting the Artist
If you're an artist coming to see me, it is partly because you need to make more money. That's understood. I take this into account in two ways. Firstly, I will only take a commission for my work if the gig comes off, and it makes you the money you need. Also I will do a producer's traditional job, and find the money to fund creative projects, either through investment or grants. Again, my fee is performance based. I get paid if I get you the funding. Since it is in my interests to do my very best to get you the work you want, you can be sure I will work hard on your behalf.
Supporting My History Work
I will also trade work with artists. A great many of my history projects combine history, education and art, and require the input/collaboration/participation of artists of all kinds, so it's in my interests to swap production work for creative work.
Supporting Quality Work
This is also why I am very selective about the artists I will work with. If you are my client, it is because I believe firmly and passionately that your work will change the world if it can be experienced by the right audience.
Changing the concept of successCreative work needs to be judged, not by how much money it is worth, but by the contribution it makes. A business needs to make a profit, sure, but if that is your only criteria for success, you sacrifice everything else in order to feed the idol and make it grow. That phenomenon has gotten the human race into a horrendous amount of trouble.
The true measure of progress is improvement in the community standard of living, culturally as well as materially. The development of our ethics, our knowledge, our empathy skills, our philosophy are central to human progress.
Everybody is self-employed, and self-educated.
It doesn’t matter if you work for a wage, on commission or contract – the work you do is self-chosen, as are the things you learn. I recognize this principle, and try to assist the work you choose to do in a personalized way. If you want waged work, or an agent, or a distribution deal, I will help you find the right one. If you want to put on a production or event, I will help you find people you can work with. If you need a grant, a publicity campaign, a business plan, a training session or an apprenticeship, then that is what I will help you get. I want all my clients to become self-sustaining as soon as possible.
Paula de Angelis: Arts Producer